Kaysville • With song and prayer, scores of people braved a chilly, rainy morning to witness the dedication of the September 11th Memorial Wednesday at the Utah State University Botanical Center and the sculpture of a firefighter protecting a child.
Among others, the memorial commemorates Mary Alice Wahlstrom and her daughter, Carolyn Beug, who died when American Flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center, and Brady Howell, who died in the Pentagon when another airliner dove into that building 200 miles away.
“These three people from Utah were among the first casualties of the war on terror — a grandmother, mother and husband,” said master of ceremonies Spence Kinard. “It was such a cruel, senseless, cowardly act, an attack on innocent people. “Nearly 3,000 American men, women and children were killed that day as America went to war again,” he said. “Along with the victims were the first responders — the firemen, policemen and EMTs who raced into the inferno and chaos in an attempt to rescue people. Some succeeded, but many didn’t as they faced impossible odds.”
The memorial also paid homage to Utah’s 129 military men and women who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“They were gone in an instant,” Kinard said. “No farewells, no goodbyes, just the finality of their not coming home. They left a hole we cannot fill, a void that is infinite. But this we do know: they are and will always be our heroes.”
The ceremony also included dozens of men and women of the armed forces who served in World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars and in the current conflicts.
Sculptor Angela Johnson and others pulled a black and white shroud from her creation, a firefighter on one knee holding a child and gazing skyward. A flock of geese circled over as many in the crowd wept.
And after a 21-gun salute, a bugler played “Taps.”
Brady’s widow, Liz Brady, said she is “thrilled that Americans still remember what we lost that day. I’m thrilled that we haven’t forgotten the sacrifice of those who died for simply being Americans.”
And, she added, “I think that memorials like this show our resilience as a nation.”